Questionable “Solidarity”

Canada’s Move, Toronto, 26 June 2020

“Kentron TV”, on 19th June 2020, announced “Ontario MPP Aris Babikian’s solidarity letter to G. Tsarukyan”. The timing of the letter raises suspicions.

Tsarukyan, the owner of the “Kentron TV company is a member of the Armenian parliament. He is charged with crimes of tax evasion and electoral fraud. Investigations are ongoing. The parliament stripped him of immunity by 89 to 0 votes. He is one of the pillars of the former oligarchic corrupt regime which established authoritarianism and lawlessness, caused disastrous depopulation and depressed the country economically, bringing it to the verge of collapse. The regime was rejected in 2018 through peaceful protests known as the Velvet Revolution.

We believe that Mr. Babikian is aware of the deplorable wrongdoings of the previous oligarchic regime, the role of Tsarukyan in promoting that regime, and the ongoing investigations against him. Meanwhile, we cannot verify whether Mr. Babikian wrote the letter in “solidarity” with Tsarukyan as claimed by “Kentron TV”.

We view “violations of democratic and human rights” and similar expressions penned in the alleged “solidarity” letter without proper context to be misleading. There is no reference to the systemic corruption, organized crimes and other illegitimate acts that took place in Armenia for more than two decades for which Mr. Tsarukyan and his ilk are under investigation. The letter also ignores the current government’s active engagement to eradicate systemic corruption.

We strongly condemn all explicit and implicit expressions of “solidarity” to oligarchs charged with crimes. Such “solidarity” is contrary to Canadian values. The alleged letter of “solidarity” by Mr. Babikian raises questions about his motives. Without a public explanation, we will remain under the impression that Mr. Babikian supports Tsarukyan and by extension all that he represents.

We urge Canadian citizens, regardless of their ethnicity and political view, to condemn corruption wherever it exists. Furthermore, we demand from Mr. Babikian to retract the alleged letter of “solidarity”. Please contact Mr. Babikian’s office at the below numbers or email using the hashtag #nosolidaritytocriminals

Tel: +1 (416) 326-7111 +1 (416) 416-297-6568

[email protected]

Հարցահարույց «Զորակցություն»

«Կենտրոն» հեռուստաընկերությունը 2020 թվականի հունիսի 19-ին հրապարակել է “Կանադայի Օնթարիո նահանգի պատգամավոր Արիս Պապիկյանի զորակցության նամակը Գ.Ծառուկյանին” վերնագրով գրությունը: Նամակի հրատարակութեան ժամանակը կասկածներ է հարուցում։

«Կենտրոն» հեռուստաընկերության սեփականատեր Ծառուկյանը Հայաստանի խորհրդարանի անդամ է: Նա մեղադրվում է հարկերից խուսափելու և ընտրակեղծիքների համար կատարված հանցագործությունների մեջ: Հետաքննությունները շարունակվում են: Խորհրդարանը նրան 89-0 ձայներով զրկեց անձեռնմխելիությունից: Նա սյուներից մեկն է նախկին օլիգարխիկ  կաշառակեր վարչակազմի, որը մեր երկրում հաստատեց մենատիրութիւն և անօրինականություն, պատճառ դարձաւ աղետալի արտագաղթին եւ տնտեսական ծանրագույն հարուածի՝  մեր երկիրը հասցնելով փլուզման եզրին: Վարչակազմը մերժվեց 2018-ին՝ ժողովրդային խաղաղ  ըմբոստութեամբ, որը աշխարհին հայտնի է որպես «թավշյա հեղափոխություն»:

Մենք հավատում ենք, որ պարոն Պապիկեանը տեղյակ է նախորդ օլիգարխիկ վարչակազմի հանցանքներին, այդ վարչակազմի խթանման գործում Ծառուկյանի դերի և ընթացիկ քննությունների մասին: Մինչ այդ մենք չենք կարող ճշտել, թէ արդյո՞ք պարոն Պապիկեանը նամակը գրել է որպես «զորակցություն» Ծառուկյանին թե ոչ, ինչպես պնդում է «Կենտրոն TV»-ն:

Մենք ենթադրում ենք, որ «ժողովրդավարական և մարդու իրավունքների խախտումներ» և նման արտահայտություններ ենթադրյալ «զորակցության» նամակում՝ առանց համապատասխան ենթատեքստի, ապակողմնորոշող են : Ո՛չ մի ակնարկ չկա ավելի քան երկու տասնամյակ Հայաստանում տեղի ունեցած համակարգային կաշառակերության, կազմակերպված հանցագործությունների և մնացած անօրինական գործողությունների մասին, որոնց համար պրն Ծառուկյանն ու իր գործակիցները հետաքննության մեջ են: Նամակում նաև անտեսվում է ներկայիս կառավարության վճռական ջանքերը համակարգային կաշաոակերությունը արմատախիլ անելու գործում :

Մենք խստորեն դատապարտում ենք հանցագործությունների մեջ մեղադրվող օլիգարխներին «զորակցության» բոլոր բացահայտ և ծածուկ դրսևորումները: Նման «զորակցությունը» հակասում է կանադական արժեքներին: Պրն. Պապիկեանին վերագրյալ նամակի «զորակցությունը» հարցեր է առաջացնում նրա դրդապատճառների վերաբերյալ: Առանց հրապարակային բացատրության մենք այնպիսի տպավորություն ենք ստանում, որ պարոն Պապիկեանը իրապես պաշտպանում է Ծառուկյանին և այն ամենը, ինչ ինքը ներկայացնում է:

Մենք Կանադայի քաղաքացիներին կոչ ենք անում՝ անկախ իրենց ազգային պատկանելությունից և քաղաքական հայացքներից, դատապարտել կաշառակերությունը, որտեղ էլ որ լինի: Ավելին, պարոն Պապիկեանից պահանջում ենք չեղարկել իրեն վերագրված «զորակցության» նամակը, եւ նման պահանջով խնդրում ենք դիմել պարոն Պապիկեանի գրասենյակին հետևյալ համարներով կամ էլ. փոստով՝ օգտագործելով #nosolidaritytocriminals հեշթեգը:

Հեռ. ՝ +1 (416) 326-7111        +1 (416) 416-297-6568            [email protected]

STATEMENT

“Canada’s Move” [Գանատայի Քայլը / Կանադայի Քայլը] is a network of Canadian Armenians to promote awareness of the historic importance of the “Velvet Revolution”, its positive impact on Armenians throughout the world, its accomplishments and future expansion.

The network upholds sovereignty of Armenia/Artsakh, promotes the expansion and the strengthening of Armenia-Diaspora relations, advocates repatriation, rallies around specific self-relying projects that empower Armenia youth and alleviate poverty. It also advocates application of environmentally recognized best practices in utilizing natural resources, act as a platform for discussions in meritocracy, gender equality, inclusive and fair economic policies, rights of marginalized segments of society, participatory democratic governance, anti-corruption, and rule of law.

The network is well aware of the divisions within the Canadian-Armenian community, but it also recognizes and appreciates the value of cooperation with individuals or entities irrespective of political, religious and fraternity affiliations. Working in isolation has limited impact, whereas working in unison by building consensus leads to healthier relations and lasting desirable results.

Integrity, accountability and transparency will be the guiding principles that characterize the modus operandi of the network.

To accomplish its goals the network will utilize social media, the press and public gatherings.

We call upon our compatriots in Canada to join “Canada’s Move” Network.

Contact: Arusyak Karapetyan                         [email protected]

Previously held activities by Canada’s Move

No to Dictatorship in Armenia
Armenia Needs Your Support

Gathering in Solidarity at Queen’s Park

Rally in Ottawa in Support of Democracy in Armenia
Republic Square Pashinyan’s Agora

Panel Tackles Adoption of Participatory Democracy in Armenia

Letter

Copy of MPP Aris Babikian’s letter in Armenian addressed to Gagik Tsarukyan

Յունիս 18, 2020
Գանատա

Յարգարժան Պր Ծառուկեան,

Վերջին շաբաթներուն հայրենիքի քաղաքական կեանքին մեջ զարգացող հոլովոյթները, խորապէս կ’անհանգստացնեն բոլորս։
Հայրենիքի զարգացման և կայունացման համար, բոլորս պատրաստ ենք մեր լուման ներդրելու, համագործակցաբար օրինական իշխանութիւններու բոլոր մակարդակներու ներկայացուցիչներուն և մարմիններու հետ։ Սակայն, մտահոգ ենք, որ ի հեճուկս մեր դրական տրամադրութիւններուն, որոշ կացութիւններ ժխտականօրէն կրնան ազդել Հայաստանի դիմագծին ու անոր բնականոն զարգացման։

Ժողովրդավարութիւնը եւ մարդկայինն իրաւանց հարցերը, կենսական օրակարգեր են, որոնց խախտումերը` պատճառ կրնան ըլլալ, այդ շատ կարեւոր թեմաներուն թուլացման եւ օրէնքի ամրակայման հարցահարոյց աննախանձելի գոյակցութեան, հայաստանեան քաղաքական եւ հասարակական կեանքին մէջ։
Կը հաւատանք, որ որեւէ մէկ անձ կամ կազմակերպութիւն գերիվեր չէ օրէնքի սահմէն։ Սակայն օրէնքի կիրառումը, հարկ է ըլլայ սահմանադրական կարգով եւ հեռու քաղաքական շահադիտական նկատառումներէ։ Միայն օրէնքի իշխանութիւնն է, որ պէտք է կարգաւորէ պետական յարաբերութիւնները եւ կամայական որեւէ մէկ կարգադրութիւն մերժելի է  համաշխարհային եւ ազգային ամէն արժեչափերով։

Կը յուսանք ու հաւատանք, որ դեռ եւս Հայաստանի պետական այրերը, նախանձախնդիր են, որ արդարութեան եւ օրէնքի ճշդած մեկնակետէ  կը տնօրինուի պարտն ու պատշաճը և յարդը կը զատուի ցորենէն ու կը բացայատուին օրէնքի չարաշահումներու ետին կանգնած բոլոր ուժերը։

Համոզուածած ենք ու լիայոյս, ձեր անձին հանդէպ յարուցուած խնդիրները, Հայաստանի օրէնսդրական ու սահմանադրական կարգով, իրենց արդար վճռահատումը կը ստանան։

Երկա՜ր ապրի արդարութիւնը ու օրէնքի գերակայութիւնը։

Յաւերժ ծածանի եռագոյնի կողքին, արդարութեան դրօշը`  հայրենիքի երկնակամարին վրայ։

Ջերմօրէն`
Արիս Պապիկեան
Գանատայի Օնթարիօ Նահանգի Երեսփոխան

 

 

 

18 comments
  1. Thank you for sharing this information. We as Armenians must stand up against corruption anywhere and not allow our own to cross the lines of integrity and honor!

  2. Dear Keghart

    I wish you did attach MPP Aris Babikian’s letter with this article so that everyone could see that there is nothing to support Tsarougyan. Babikian as an MPP of a democratic country and worried about Armenia, he wants to make sure justice is done not based on political pressure….or as popularity tool…

  3. Dear Mr. Babikian,

    We were saddened to read the Kentron TV statement concerning your alleged letter of solidarity with Tsarukyan.

    Would it be fair to assume that, over the past three decades, you as a lawmaker have followed the news of corruption, sale of factories, stealing mining resources, resulting in disastrous depopulation of the country, by oligarchs In Armenia?

    As an honorable judge, and lawmaker in a great country like Canada, you would know oligarchs and partners who are under investigation for evasion of taxes and corruption, need to be accountable to, and be judged by the people of Armenia and Artsakh. Nothing less.

    We hope Tsarukyan and the other corrupt oligarchs do not count on your support and loyalty to them. We also hope your “alleged solidarity letter” is fake.

    Respectfully,
    Aharonian household

  4. Hello Mr. Babikian,

    Where do I begin… In the strongest terms I condemn your letter of support you sent to G. Tsarukyan, a well known foundational oligarch of the previous regime. Your letter was published by the Kentron TV station on Friday June 19th. FYI, the Kentron TV station belongs to G. Tsarukyan.

    I would like to remind you that Mr. Tsarukyan was stripped off his parliamentary immunity by a legitimately elected Armenian parliament, the only legitimately elected parliament in the past 25 years. I would also like to remind you that G. Tsarukyan is charged, with overwhelming evidence, with tax evasion up to $USD60million and vote bribery and election fraud. This is a widely known fact in Armenia and now, finally, the time has come to face justice.

    As a Canadian and Armenian citizen, and a resident of Toronto, I am ashamed, that you are using your honorable title as Ontario MPP to put in question a legitimate criminal case in another country even before the start of the criminal proceedings.

    I am ashamed that you talk about human rights, yet you are conveniently silent about the widespread, coordinated and systematic human rights violations perpetrated by the previous oligarchic regime against the people of Armenia, who where finally freed from the corrupt regime in the 2018 velvet Revolution.

    In your letter, you mentioned that the law will prevail, in fact it will, and all corrupt individuals, including G. Tsarukyan, regardless of their political affiliation, in Armenia will face their share of justice and no unlawful outside influence, like what you have demonstrated, will stop this process. We, the citizens of Canada and Armenia and many more citizens of Armenia around the world will make sure of this.

    Many of us supported you in the 2018 Ontario parliamentary elections. Effective immediately, I am withdrawing my support. In the next election, I will make sure that your attempted unlawful influence is widely known within the Canadian-Armenian community, and I and my friends will campaign in all ways possible to prevent you from being elected as Ontario MPP again.

    The flag of justice will shine with the Armenian tricolor for every free thinking Armenian citizen, including for corrupt individuals that you are supporting. However, they will watch them shine from prison.

    Have a great day,
    Eduard Astvatsatryan

  5. 1. Although his letter to Tsaroukyan focused on the hope that justice will prevail in Armenia, it was not wise of Mr. Babikian to send the letter considering the oligarch’s reputation. I wish I knew why he sent it.
    2. What is Canada’s Move (unimaginative name) which has suddenly made its appearance through its statement-screed? Who are its members? How many members does it have? Are there Pashinyan operatives among them?
    3. The second, third, and fourth paragraphs of their statement are shameless virtue signaling. The only thing missing is that they also believe in motherhood.
    4. Tsaroukyan’s people took Babikian’s letter and turned into a PR release for the oligarch. Mr. Babikian is not responsible for the Tsaroukyan PR team’s gimmick. 5. At the outset, Keghart should have published Mr. Babikian’s letter to Tsaroukyan plus Mr. Babikian’s response to Canada’s Move statement.
    6. Canada’s Move says “the timing of the letter [Mr. Babikian’s letter to Tsaroukyan] raises suspicions. “Canada’s Move doesn’t elaborate as to what it means although it tries to plant suspicion in the mind of the reader. A cheap trick.
    7. Although the statement accuses Mr. Babikian of all types of perfidy, Canada’s Move nonsensically says: “Meanwhile, we cannot verify whether Mr. Babikian wrote the letter in ‘solidarity’ with Tsaroukyan as claimed by ‘Kentron TV.'” Come again?
    8. “We view ‘violations of democratic and human rights’ and similar expressions penned in the alleged ‘solidarity’ letter without proper context to be misleading” is a bizarre sentence that needs an editor. Why alleged and quote marks side by side? Don’t the letter writers know they are overdoing their anger?
    9. Canada’s Move says it “strongly condemns all explicit and implicit expressions of ‘solidarity’ to oligarchs charged with crimes.” Explicit and implicit? Where is the Spanish Inquisition when we need it?
    10. Did Canada’s Move contact Mr. Babikian and ask him to explain his letter? It looks like Canada’s Move likes to shoot first and then ask questions. Why the vicious attack on the only Armenian politician in Canada–a man who has dedicated most of his career to the Armenian Cause? One can describe Canada’s Move agitated letter as a tempest in a teacup. It is that but it still unjustly hurts a man who has done so much for the community, diaspora Armenians, and Armenia. Are Canada’s Move members celebrating their cheap stunt? Are they gloating as they wait for plaudits from their friends in Armenia for stabbing in the back a dedicated Armenian? When the members of Canada’s Move (obviously new immigrants from Armenia judging by their command of English) were still in the nursery, Mr. Babikian was fighting for Armenians in diaspora and in Armenia. Shame on Canada’s Move for trying to hurt Mr. Babikian. It must please our enemies who are planning to overrun the Hayastan Canada’s Move is so eager to persuade us it loves and protects.
    11. Not content with the damage it has done, Canada’s Move is advising Canadian-Armenians to harass Mr. Babikian through phone calls, letters, and email. Why do they call themselves Canada’s Move when Turkey’s Move or Azerbaijan’s Move would have been as appropriate?

    1. “Don’t the letter writers know they are overdoing their anger?” Says the angry writer!

      Mr. Babikian is responsible for his own actions. He has no place, as an Ontarion MPP to weigh in to Armenian politics through contact with a politician who has been charged with corruption.

      You can be angry at Canada’s Move, and not like their name, but to accuse them of hurting an innocent man is hypocritical. Every citizen has the right to know who they are voting for and what they represent. As a matter of fact the letter is written with ample room for Mr. Babikian to explain how his communication should be perceived by the public!

      You can show your disdain, as an Armenian yourself, for “Obviously New Immigrants from Armenia”, but that only shows the prejudice you hold towards them as if they are less than!!

      Whether or not Mr. Babikian has done great things for Armenia as you claim, solidarity to a criminal who is part of a system that has destroyed Armenia speaks for itself. Pretty words and perfect sentences are not going to change that!

      An informative statement by a group, such as Canada’s Move, that demands answers from members of parliament will not harm any individual. But the abuse of power that supports criminal oligarchs in Armenia expands the very fabric of the remnants that will be left, once those criminals are done ruining Armenia!

    2. In reply to Marcus

      Marcus, first of all there should be a clear distinction between who said what to whom and when. Look at the timeline. Associates and partners of Tsarukyan were already being investigated since February. Tsarukyan’s name and criminal activities were implicated. His house was searched on 14th June and he was stripped of his immunity by a popularly voted legitimate parliament on the 15th of June. Babikian’s letter was on the 18th. Have you wondered why? No matter what the letter says, under these circumstances there is no other way to interpret it except as a gesture of “solidarity”, the way Tsarukyan has done and has used the letter to claim that he has the support of Diaspora. Does what I have said so far make sense?

      Defending Babikian’s letter and concerns shows neglect of accountability.

      Questioning the identity of Canada’s Move is rhetorical at best and shows poor understanding of community events and grass root movements in Diaspora. Canada’s Move has clearly outlined what it stands for and has made references to six activities in Canada in the past two years. That’s more than any other non-party associated network. Also it has commemorated March 1st Tragedy and initiated an on-line campaign in favour of the constitutional referendum which was cancelled because of the COVID 19 pandemic.

      In your understanding Babikian’s main accomplishment is his Genocide activism. For your information, but I think you know, he is not the only person in Canada. Shall I name the long list of people who have tirelessly worked for the recognition of the Genocide and justice? Does that qualify him to be in “solidarity” with a kleptocrat like Tsarukyan and by extension a whole regime of criminals? Some fringe groups in Armenia today are shouting about “human rights” and “Rule of law”. These are code words designed to set criminals like Tsarukyan free and escape Justice. Don’t you think Babikian’s expressions sound very similar?

      In your remarks about actions proposed by Canada’s Move you insinuate that they are in line with Turkish and Azeri intentions. For your information, enemies of Armenia dream a weak, undemocratic, robbed country brought to its knees. Extending the life of an oligarchic criminal regime would accomplish that and Babikian’s misplaced “solidarity” lends a lifeline.

      Babikian’s views or any other Tsarukyan like “solidarity” and support are destined to fail. Grass root organizations like Canada’s Move in Diaspora, new immigrants and Diasporans will continue to support the process of reforms in Armenia and its democratically elected government to bring thieves and pirates of the former regime to justice.
      Justice will parade nationwide!

      1. To the Velvet Revolution supporter.
        1. You assume I believe Tsarukyan is guilty. I don’t know whether he is. Since you are a supporter of the Velvet Revolution, I would like to believe you are pro-democracy and the rule of law. If so, you have to wait for the courts to decide whether Tsarukyan is guilty. Having one’s home searched, being arrested, and accused doesn’t necessarily make a person guilty. Apparently, these basics do not apply to Canada’s Move which sees itself as prosecutor and judge.
        2. While Canada’s Move gleefully celebrates Mr. Tsarukyan’s arrest, it is silent about Mr. Pashinyan’s puzzling inaction re another famous oligarch. I am talking about Karekin II who has been widely branded “vile.” Although Mr. Pashinyan (Canada’s Move idol) has been in power for more than a year, he hasn’t said anything, let alone, do anything about the immoral man who heads our Church. Double standard or what?
        3. When you fault Mr. Babikian for having written a letter to Mr. Tsarukyan, you are interpreting what Mr. Babikian must have had in mind. You know that’s a no-no. I could do what you did and say Mr. Babikian is a long-time friend of Mr. Tsarukyan’s, and as such, wrote him to express his faith in Armenia’s justice system.
        4. You say my questioning of Canada’s Move is “rhetorical at best and shows a poor understanding of community events and grass-roots movement.” Why is it rhetorical to ask who are the people who are hiding their identity behind Canada’s Move name? If they are serious about their project and have integrity, they should have signed their names under their accusatory statement. By the way, what is a grass-roots movement? Does it stay grass-roots or someday grow to a tree and bear fruit? I am making fun because “grass-roots” is a hackneyed word like”Inner-city.”
        5. You try to put words into my mouth when you say I believe Mr. Babikian’s efforts on behalf of Genocide recognition should give him a pass. Mr. Babikian has been active in numerous patriotic efforts since his arrival here some decades ago. The Genocide is just one of his preoccupations. I hope you didn’t intend to diminish his efforts regarding the Genocide: Diasporans are generally more committed to Genocide issues than the government of Armenia or the average Armenia citizen. Research of one, admittedly.
        6. Re my supposed use of rhetoric: it’s you who ended the comment with “justice will parade nationwide!” With exclamation mark yet.
        In three comments I have made it clear where I stand about misguided Canada’s Move decision to go after Mr. Babikian. Their campaign against Mr. Babikian might get them brownie points at Velvet Revolution gatherings in Yerevan but will hurt Canadian Armenian community for years to come.
        P.S. Because I don’t want to repeat myself, this is my last comment re Canada’s Move misadventure.

    3. Dear Marcus,

      This is Arusyak from Canada’s Move.

      I am under the impression that your main grievance with our statement is MPP Babikian’s image. It is our belief that sharing information with the public, and requesting an explanation from Mr. Babikian shall not in any way harm him personally or his career. We believe that it is relevant to clarify which side of history Mr. Babikian stands on, if as a Canadian Provincial politician he has chosen to engage in Armenian politics.

      In regards to the questions about Canada’s Move, please feel free to follow us on facebook and join our facebook group to find out more about our activities and our network. Any suggestions and ideas that complement our mission statement are very welcome from our community.

      Finally, please note that as an independent network, we are not representatives of any party. We have the best interest of Armenia at heart!

      Sincerely,
      Arusyak Karapetyan

      1. Dear Arusyak Karapetyan,

        I’m surprised you posed questions to Mr. Marcus when a few days ago he wrote he would no longer comment on the matter. What you did is not fair.

        From my reading of Mr. Marcus’ comments, I gathered his interest is the reputation of the Canadian-Armenian community rather than Armenia politics. I agree with him. Mr. Babikian’s innocuous letter to Mr. Tsarukyan can have no impact on Armenia politics. It said Mr. Babikian hoped justice will triumph. As we say: “Big deal.” Meanwhile, Canada’s Move’s frenzied portrayal of the harmless letter as scandalous, an abuse of power, anti-democratic, pro-corrupt oligarchs, intrusion into Armenia politics, etc. will hurt our community.

        The hyped campaign against Mr. Babikian will damage our community’s reputation, discourage Armenians from choosing a career in politics (“If my side is so unfair, self-serving, and vicious, why bother?”), and spread the word among political circles that Armenians are an unpredictable, unreliable, and quarrelsome community. In other words a weak community not worth courting. All this because a handful of Armenia-born hot-heads want to be noticed by Pashinyan and Co. Incidentally, I hope Mr. Pashinyan succeeds in establishing genuine democracy and erase corruption from life in Armenia.

  6. Dear Mr. Keosseuian,

    You write, “Babikian as an MPP of a democratic country and worried about Armenia, he wants to make sure justice is done not based on political pressure… or as popularity tool…”. This may well be true, however, in order to know this for sure we need to see a clarification given by Mr Babikian himself.

    The alleged letter of solidarity, to say the least, raises suspicion, both in the wording of the text as well as the timing of it.

    To give a brief background, the issue around Tsarukyan began when the authorities were investigating an unrelated case regarding Mr Vahagn Vermishyan, the former Chairman of the Urban Development Committee who was sacked in February this year over charges of corruption. According to the ongoing investigation against Vermishyan, he had accepted bribes from “Yerevan Shin” Pvt Ltd, a prominent development company in Armenia with the purpose of awarding them with the “Honoured Builder” award of the Committee.

    While searching for evidence in the office of the above mentioned “Yerevan Shin” company, papers pertaining to alleged electoral bribes distributed in Gegharkunik Province were found. The Director of “Yerevan Shin” Mr Vazgen Poghosyan allegedly gave statements to the authorities wherein he claimed that he was approached by Gagik Tsarukyan and offered to be a candidate in the Parliamentary elections with the condition that he garner 9000 votes for Prosperous Armenia. He also allegedly stated that he further communicated with Sedrak Arustamyan, Chairman of Tsarukyan’s MultiGroup and Abraham Manukyan, former MP from Prosperous Armenia Party and recieved AMD 90 million (over $187,000) to be distributed among party workers so they could use it to bribe voters. Both these gentlemen are currently under arrest concerning an unrelated case pertaining to MultiGroup. Sedrak Arustamyan is also the father of sitting MP Nora Arustamyan.

    The authorities have also acquired witness accounts from a certain Mr Kirakosyan, according to whom, the above-mentioned Vazgen Poghosyan gathered party workers and handed out AMD 300,000 each to be distributed among eligible voters, AMD 10,000 ($20) to each voter.

    As you can see, the investigation on Tsarkukyan began back in February due to a separate case with no intention to target him in particular. Since the investigation involved people related to Tsarukyan, there was no way he wouldn’t have known regarding the developments. With the prosecution ready to open a case against him on June 10, Tsarukyan was quick to demand the resignation of the Government on June 5 so to enable him to have the counter-argument that he was being politically targeted because of his criticism.

    His mansion was searched on June 14th and he was stripped of parliamentary immunity by the National Assembly on June 15.

    Keeping all these dates in mind, please look at the date of Mr Aris Babikian’s letter. It is dated June 18th. This, if nothing else, comes across as very suspicious and can be interpreted as a letter of solidarity. In fact, sitting MPs from Tsarukyan’s Prosperous Armenia party have been sharing the same letter all over social media as a sign of prominent diaspora support for Tsarukyan. The news, as mentioned in the text, was also widely circulated by Tsarukyan’s media channel “Kentron TV”. If claims of solidarity on the part of Mr Babikian are misleading, all we need is a clarification from the MPP and everything will fall into place.

    If Mr Aris Babikian is concerned about the rule of law in Armenia, then the most logical person to write to expressing such concern would be Prime Minster Pashinyan and not Tsarukyan, who is facing investigation. Had Mr Babikian addressed his letter to the Armenian Government, it would have been taken as a sign that “he wants to make sure justice is done not based on political pressure…or as popularity tool…”, as stated by you. When you address a letter to an accused, expressing your concerns regarding an ongoing case against him, it can be seen as an implicit, if not an explicit expression of support.

    It is up to Mr Babikian to give a clear explanation now.

    Daniel – Yerevan, Armenia

  7. Hi Marcus,
    I’ll try to respond to the non-derogatory comments only.
    1. You can call/email Mr. Babikian’s office to find out.
    2. Information about Canada’s Move was provided. Feel free to familiarize yourself.
    4. If that is the case then Mr Babikian should respond appropriately. He is well aware by now of the Kentron TV’s publication and he has had an entire week to respond. Hope he will do so soon.
    5. It would have been provided if Babikian responded. When he does, the article should be updated.
    6. The suspicions were outlined in the paragraphs that followed.
    7. The letter was in the process of being verified at the time of publication. The article was later updated with Mr Babikian’s letter attached.
    8. Please re-read the statement again. It very specifically condemns solidarity with corrupt officials and interference in legitimate criminal proceedings in another country. there is no accusation in “all kinds of perfidy”.
    10. You seem to have a problem w. immigrant Armenians, yet you talk about community, unjustly hurting someone and cheap stunts. Achieved the pinnacle of cheap hypocrisy yet?
    11. Only by pointing out and calling out the deficiencies of our own we can build a country and community of highest standards so that those who come after us will have have more just and trustworthy leaders who will strive to work in the best interests of the country and the people living in it.

    1. To reply categorically to Eduard:
      1. You advise me to contact Mr. Babikian to learn why he sent the letter to Mr. Tsaroukyan. Since you are the accuser (s), don’t you think it’s your responsibility to contact him rather than advise me on what I should do? After all, Canada’s Move presumably has more than one member to delegate the task.
      2. You claim that Canada’s Move provided information about itself. You did not address my query about its membership, the number of members, leadership… What about names? Are there members who are official/unofficial Pashinyan operatives?
      4. Did you ask Mr. Babikian to explain his letter to Mr. Tsaroukyan before you rushed to judgment? The alacrity with which Canada’s Move went into action was unseemly. It indicated that the group is more interested in accusing than in learning the facts.
      5. Your reply that you would have reprinted Mr. Babikian’s letter had it be provided is lame. The letter was on the internet several days before Canada’s Move made its rah-rah splash.
      6. Suspicion is not sufficient reason to condemn.
      7. Your reply “The letter was in the process of being verified at the time of publication” is proof that Canada’s Move jumped the gun. It sent its attack press release before it had all its ducks in order.
      8. You did not explain why Canada’s Move saw fit to say “alleged” and use the quote marks when they mean the same thing. Was it a case of tautology, rushed writing, an urge to overstate?
      10. You accuse me of having a “problem with immigrant Armenians.” Are you saying I have a problem with Syrian, Lebanese, Iraqi, Jordanian, Egyptian… Armenians? That’s what your sentence says. Why would any Armenian have problems with immigrant Armenians who live in Canada? Because Canada’s Move has not revealed its identity, I still don’t know the identity of its leaders. Why the secrecy?
      11. “Only by pointing out and calling out the deficiencies of our own…” you pontificated. Thank you for the civics lesson. I am not typing your whole sentence because it’s 55-words long. Once a sentence exceeds 20 words, comprehension starts to diminish eventually becoming incomprehensible.

  8. Every citizen has the right to demand answers from government officials publicly. MPP Babikian has the responsibility to answer for his actions.

    It is vital for citizens to demand of their public representatives to uphold integrity, and accountability in their actions. This is the most basic right every citizen possesses in a democratic country. As such, citizens should never be bullied for their right to demand answers of their public officials.

    If public officials respect the rights of their constituents they will act accordingly. Instead of playing politics, or attempting various tactics to avoid an issue, they will show transparency and feedback in order to resolve unwanted misinterpretations!

    Thank You!

  9. I must say that this news came as a complete surprise while we are preparing to celebrate Canada Day. If this is true, then I feel embarrassed and ashamed that MPP Babikian has betrayed Canadian values. It’s Aris Babikian’s responsibility to clarify the motives of this letter. It has shaken the trust of his voters. We can’t tolerate double standards in our leadership. Hypocrisy cannot be part of politics and it destroys the integrity of our values.

  10. Yeah, I think it’s pretty clear that Tsarukyan is a criminal! And anyone who still associates with him isn’t doing so just because he’s got nice eyes.
    No country can move forward to progress if it has tax evaders engaged in electoral fraud like this who keep on sucking its resources.
    Good job for pointing this one out!

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